The ability to store electrical energy adds several interesting features to a ships distribution network, as silent power, peak shaving and a ride through in case of generator failure. Modern intrinsically safe Li-ion batteries bring these within reach. For this modern lithium battery applications thermal management is vital in achieving a good trade off between maximum lifetime and optimal performance. This article addresses part of the thermal design of a battery storage system, based on commercially available lithium battery technology. During the design process the model assisted in assessment of design choices by checking that battery temperature rise would remain within acceptable levels. The final design is based on eight modules in parallel called PowerBlocks, where each module consists of thirty lithium batteries in series (30×12.8V = 384V; 130Ah) and a three phase converter. The complete battery storage system was modeled thermally, where validation of the model was done in the laboratory. Based on the experimental results from the validation a safe operating area was defined, which marks the thermal boundaries of the system. This study's conclusions indicate that commercially available lithium battery technology can, with good thermal management, be applied to improve the performance of power distribution systems in maritime applications.
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